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What Are Pecan Puffs?

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  • Written By: T. Carrier
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Pecans are one of the most popular types of nuts for consumption. Many have found the combinations of pecans with sweet tastes irresistible, leading to a number of culinary creations. Small sweet snacks that may be created from pecans are known as pecan puffs. These treats are generally shortbread, light biscuits or cookies. Candy pecans or additional sugar may be added atop the cookies.

The main attraction of pecan puffs is the pecan. This nut is common in North America. It has a dark red-brown color and an oval, somewhat flat shape. Several indentations line the surface. The white inside of the nut is softer than many other varieties and has a buttery taste. Pecans are a fixture in many dessert dishes, ranging from candy bars to pecan pies.

Pecan biscuits or pecan puff cookies have a light and fluffy feeling. These creations typically result from combining butter, sugar, and flour. A dough resulting from certain proportions of the aforementioned ingredients is often known as shortbread. Beaten egg whites may sometimes be used in place of some of these ingredients. Ground up pecans are also added, then the mixture is baked on a cookie sheet.

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Some recipes also place whole candy pecans — often referred to as pralines — in the center of the cookie. A few other ingredients are necessary to coat pecans with a sweet flavoring. Melted sugar or brown sugar and vanilla flavoring can provide the sweet touch. A wide variety of sugar and candy-coated nuts exist, and each could be considered a praline.

Pecan puffs require baking. The process is fairly basic, and the expansion of the dough during this process gives the breads their puffy appearance. Ingredients are mixed together and formed into balls. Oven cooking typically takes around 20 minutes. Baking with pecans will roast and brown the nuts and give them a more natural flavor.

Puff cookies are a mostly Italian creation. They are sometimes called crescents, tea cakes, or butter balls as well. Once the dough is mixed in a puff cookie, it is rolled into small individual balls. A depression is then made with the thumb in the center of the cookie. In pecan puffs, this is where one whole pecan would be placed.

Other variations can also be included in the recipe. Many individuals roll the cookies in powdered sugar. Some recipes also add cream cheese in order to make a puff pastry cookie. Pecan puffs may also transform into a different type of puff — such as an almond or cashew puff — if one wishes to use an alternative baking nut.

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